AARP – In the last several months, a number of studies have drawn a connection between blood type and COVID-19 risk, and most have reached the same conclusion:
People with type O blood, the most common kind, may have a slight advantage over their peers when it comes to risk for a coronavirus infection and hospitalization or death from COVID-19.
This, however, does not mean they can’t contract the virus or fall seriously ill from it.
Researchers in Denmark found that among more than 7,400 people who tested positive for COVID-19, fewer individuals had type O blood compared to type A.
This is despite the fact that the two blood types accounted for the same share of the population when compared to a larger control group.
Canadian researchers reached a similar finding in their retrospective study published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
They found that people with type O blood had a lower risk for contracting the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) compared to those with type A, B or AB.
They also observed that individuals with type O blood had a slightly lower risk for getting severely ill or dying from COVID-19 if they did become infected. And several other peer-reviewed studies reinforce these findings.
Even still, experts caution that the accumulating evidence on this subject shouldn’t influence everyday medical or public health decisions.
Roy Silverstein, M.D., professor and chair of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin Division of Hematology and Oncology, who was not involved in the studies, says:
“I would never tell someone who is type O that they don’t have to wear a mask, or they don’t have to do social distancing, or they don’t have to wash their hands frequently.
“They are at risk for COVID, just a little bit lower than type A.… That doesn’t mean that [type] O is zero risk … ”
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